(a) The child-placing agency shall certify a child as eligible for adoption assistance according to requirements and procedures, and on forms prescribed by the commissioner. Documentation from a qualified expert must be provided to verify that a child meets the special needs criteria in section 259A.10, subdivision 2.
(b) Expert documentation of a disability is limited to evidence deemed appropriate by the commissioner and must be submitted with the certification. Examples of appropriate documentation include, but are not limited to, medical records, psychological assessments, educational or early childhood evaluations, court findings, and social and medical history.
(c) Documentation that the child is an at-risk child must be submitted according to requirements and procedures prescribed by the commissioner.
(a) An adoption assistance agreement is a binding contract between the adopting parent, the child-placing agency, and the commissioner. The agreement outlines the benefits to be provided on behalf of an eligible child.
(b) In order to receive adoption assistance benefits, a written agreement on a form prescribed by the commissioner must be signed by the parent, an approved representative from the child-placing agency, and the commissioner prior to the effective date of the adoption decree. No later than 30 days after the parent is approved for the adoptive placement, the agreement must be negotiated with the parent as required in section 259A.25, subdivision 1. Adoption assistance must be approved or denied by the commissioner no later than 15 business days after the receipt of a complete adoption assistance application prescribed by the commissioner. A fully executed copy of the signed agreement must be given to each party. Termination or disruption of the adoptive placement preceding adoption finalization makes the agreement with that parent void.
(c) The agreement must specify the following:
(1) the duration of the agreement;
(2) the nature and amount of any payment, services, and assistance to be provided under the agreement;
(3) the child's eligibility for Medicaid services;
(4) the terms of the payment;
(5) eligibility for reimbursement of nonrecurring expenses associated with adopting the child, to the extent that the total cost does not exceed $2,000 per child;
(6) that the agreement will remain in effect regardless of the state in which the adoptive parent resides at any given time;
(7) provisions for modification of the terms of the agreement; and
(8) the effective date of the agreement.
(d) The agreement is effective on the date of the adoption decree.
An assessment tool prescribed by the commissioner must be completed for any child who has a documented disability that necessitates care, supervision, and structure beyond that ordinarily provided in a family setting to children of the same age. This assessment tool must be submitted with the adoption assistance certification and establishes eligibility for the amount of assistance requested.